It appears to be the common practice, that most of us, when settling in for a night’s sleep, will ritually, and unpremeditatedly, reverse the pillow to its other (“cooler”) side, in anticipation of maximum comfort. This virtually, subliminal behavior, will most likely be replicated during the course of sleep for the same reason. Such behavior bordering on “instinctive,” is completely unremarkable in itself; but does serve as an exceptionally useful metaphor regarding human behavior and persona.
The general proposition, that it is normative for man to seek to promote his personal comfort, and to avoid experiences of stress and discord, requires no great aptitude for debate. Consequently, man’s willingness, or his refusal, to sacrifice his personal comfort and peace, for causes, or principles, recognized by him to be significant, is an important indicator of his worth, and persona.
The declaration, that we live in very stressful and greatly disturbing times, has become accurate enough, to now be designated as “trite.” The concerned citizen is confronted with: a less than capable, publicly dishonorable, President, happily orchestrating a largely populist- oriented, tribal citizenry, the official derogation of the free press, as well as literacy and education, the not-so- subtle encouragement of bigotry, wide disparities between the relatively few, who own and possess most of the nation’s wealth, and the much greater balance of the population, some of whom are too impoverished to subsist, a fascistic immigration policy, the official refusal to acknowledge the scientifically proven dangers of climate change, perverse and demonstrable criminality within the White House, itself, and a National leader who chooses to ignore civil liberties, and treasonably, befriends despotic enemies of the United States.
Recent history has empirically proven that the most valuable resource of a nation, is not its coal, oil and mineral resources, nor its agriculture, industry, treasury, nor its particular geography; it is unquestionably, its people. In the 1930’s, the relatively small European country of Germany, remarkably, came very close to conquering the entire world. The undeniable reason was the presence of a most valuable resource, its people. The German people were, generally, literate and educated, and, most importantly, mobilize-able. As a consequence, German ambitions in support of its false Nazi propaganda, and its goal, to conquer the entire world was, frightening to say, almost successful.
Political philosophers have uniformly declared that the “governed” are always more powerful than the governors. Rousseau, early on (among many others) declared that legitimate power to govern, comes from the people (viz., not a King). In America, it is the citizen-voter, properly informed and motivated, that has the franchise, power and capability, if not the moral duty, to now bring about necessary reform and return our Nation, to the admirable track it was historically travelling, prior to the retrograde events, following the election of President Trump.
The much needed change is analogous or metaphoric, to turning over our pillow, to the more comfortable, “cooler side”, albeit, a far more serious, rationally directed and cooperative enterprise. Neither thoughtless, unpremeditated, nor subliminal behavior will suffice in the moral task of reversing the uncomfortably current, shameful and retrogressive state of affairs; and flipping it over to the Democratic Republic of our origins, and its former commendable condition.
It will require no less than the dedicated, open eyed, and serious participation of all well informed American citizens, in: freely expressing their disapproval of ongoing governmental policy, which they perceive as unfair, unjust, illegal or bigoted, in advocating for non-interference with the right to vote, in educating the ill-informed, in peacefully assembling, when possible, and in a peacefully appropriate manner, to publicly seek reform of the American justice system, the rights of minorities, in publicly championing the rights of the poor and disabled, in seeking gender equity, in petitioning voters to cast their votes in favor of policies of rectitude regarding taxes, criminal justice, on climate change; and against privileged and unequal treatment, favoritism, gun violence, denial of human and civil rights, including the denial of privacy of a women’s person, and including the elimination of roadblocks, to the the nation’s historic invitation to immigrants, seeking a better life, as symbolized by our Statue of Liberty.
Significant private acts would include, above all, voting and the support of voting rights; also, when appropriate, acts of demonstrated brotherhood, like choosing not to quietly ignore ethnic or gay jokes; not frequenting business establishments with proven polices of public or sub-rosa discrimination; in championing aid for the sick, and for disabled veterans; consistently reacting publicly, but peacefully, to evident acts of discrimination.
We can, indeed, if we choose, restore our Nation, but it will take far more work and dedication, than fluffing up our favorite pillow for a comfortable night’s sleep.